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Knoxville Opera Guild to host this season’s auditions

KNOXVILLE - The Knoxville Opera Guild will be this year's District sponsor of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (MONCA). The Knoxville and Nashville Opera Guilds each play host to the historic audition in alternate years. Jan Simpson of the Knoxville Opera Guild and Joycelynne McCall of the Nashville Guild are co-directors.

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions is a program designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers. Usually, the Auditions take place in 39 Districts and 12 Regions throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico all run locally by volunteers.

This season, however, because of Covid 19, the auditions will begin with a Qualifying Round with submissions on pre-recorded video. The next two rounds of the competition will be held via livestream video. 33 District Auditions will be followed by 11 Region Auditions. The MONC Semifinals (May 9, 2021) and Grand Finals (May 16, 2021) are planned to be held at the Met. Other arrangements will be made if the circumstances do not allow those to proceed as planned. Soprano Alexandria Shiner, recent Master of Music graduate from the University of Tennessee, was one of last year’s five Grand Finals Winners.

Many of the benefits to singers who audition will not change with the new format. Singers will still have access to feedback with judges, and the opportunity to win prize money and sing for representatives of the Met.

“The opera industry is facing a difficult and uncertain year ahead, with more questions than answers for many of us. Now more than ever, singers need financial assistance and guidance in their career development. With the steadfast support of our Districts and Regions, across the US, Canada and Mexico, the National Council is pleased to be holding the MONC Auditions during the 2020-2021 season,” stated Melissa Wegner, Executive Director, National Council Auditions, The Metropolitan Opera. “None of this would be possible without the participation and support of our entire MONC Community: Volunteers, Donors, Audiences, Judges, Pianists, Industry Professionals, Educators, and Singers” added Wegner.

“Opera has survived and thrived despite many challenges over its long history. The talented, creative, resilient young singers we reach with the Auditions are one of our bright paths forward,” continued Wegner. “The Met Auditions are treasured by our volunteers. We feel energized helping these talented young artists and look forward to it each year,” said Julia Mullaney, Knoxville Opera Guild President. The MONC is planning a series of virtual events throughout the year to keep our audiences and donors connected to our auditions process. “The Guild will also look for every opportunity to connect local opera lovers with the auditions,” added Mullaney.

You may stay connected with Knoxville Opera for the latest developments and full details:

Published October 8, 2020

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